When is Awal Muharram?
Dates of Awal Muharram
Who observes Muharram in 2018?
Awal Muharram or Hijri New Year is celebrated by Muslims as the day symbolises two important events in the Islamic year.
Awal means beginning in English and Muharram is the name of the first month in the Muslim calendar. The first day of Muharram is therefore the Islamic New Year's Day and on this date the Hijra, the historic journey from Mecca to Medina began.
The Islamic Calendar
Islam has a calendar based on the revolutions of the Moon rather than the sun. Thus, it is only 354 days long. Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram, the first Islamic month.
Compared to Western calendars, the Islamic year goes backwards by about 11 days every year.
The date shown on this page is the date that most countries will observe. The date in some countries may vary by up to two days, as some countries use a lunar sighting basis to determine the date. Because of this, the offical dates may not be announced until close to the actual day.
Islamic New Year
The date for Islamic New Year in other countries for 2018 along with the name of the day in that country is shown in the table of countries to the right.
The day also coincides with the Hijra, the Prophet's journey from Mecca to Medina on the first of Muharram in 622AD.
To mark the occasion, Muslims attend various religious activities, spiritual singing, religious meetings throughout the country. The traditions and customs for Muharram vary for Shia and Sunni Muslims.
For both, the marking of the beginning of the new year is usually quiet, unlike New Year's celebrations associated with other calendars. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on the passing of time and their own mortality.
To mark Muharram, Muslims will recite Koranic verses and hold special prayers and sermons at public halls and mosques.
The New Year itself is known to Muslims as Maal Hijra.